Welcome to FindBiometrics’ digest of identity industry news. Here’s what you need to know about the world of digital identity and biometrics today:
UK Privacy Watchdog Isn’t Done Fighting Clearview AI
The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office will appeal a tribunal’s recent ruling that the ICO doesn’t have the authority to fine Clearview AI, the controversial US facial recognition firm. The ICO had originally fined Clearview £7.5 million for its collection of UK citizens’ biometric data, but Clearview appealed to a “First-tier Tribunal”, to which it successfully argued that the ICO did not have jurisdiction. The ICO is now saying that the tribunal misinterpreted the UK’s data protection laws. Commenting on the matter to The Register, a legal expert for the Decoded.Legal law firm said the ICO “has a reasonable argument to make here, but it is not a cut-and-dry case, as there’s a reasonable counter-argument too.”
Nigeria Plans ‘Fully Biometric Immigration Application Process’
The Nigerian government is looking to digitize the country’s passport application process – and fast – with plans to launch a biometric system by February. Speaking at the annual Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, Minister of the Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo asserted that an effort to implement a “fully biometric immigration application process obtainable in most foreign countries” is now underway, adding that such a service will first launch in the United Kingdom. The government is aiming to minimize the amount of human contact required in the process, and to make it more convenient.
Philippines Bank to Implement Voice Recognition
Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the country’s most prominent financial institutions, is planning to implement a voice recognition system for customers. The bank’s head of AI and innovation, Adrienne Heinrich, discussed the effort at the Singapore Fintech Festival, explaining that the technology will first be used as a security layer for customer service calls, with the goal of later using it as a login method. The bank has reportedly finished a proof of concept, and Heinrich says it is aiming to launch the system in 2024.
TSA’s Facial Recognition Lands at Albany, Syracuse Airports
The Transportation Security Administration’s facial recognition technology has now been deployed at the Albany and Syracuse Hancock International Airports, ahead of an anticipated surge in travelers for the Thanksgiving holiday. The technology compares a traveler’s face to the image on their official ID, and operates through self-service kiosks that do not require interaction with a TSA agent. “These new units are valuable because they enhance detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent IDs such as driver’s licenses and passports at a checkpoint and it increases efficiency by automatically verifying a passenger’s identification,” said Bart Johnson, the TSA’s Federal Security Director for Upstate New York.
Aruba to Launch Digital Passport App in March
Authorities in Aruba have set a launch date for their digital travel credential developed in collaboration with SITA and Seattle-based Indicio. The Aruba Happy One Pass (AHOP) will be made available to all travelers visiting Aruba starting in March of next year. The AHOP app uses facial recognition to match travelers to their passports, and will enable users to pass through border checkpoints without having to share their physical passports with human agents. Officials are now preparing for the installation of SITA Automatic Border Control Gates at the Queen Beatrix International Airport.
Former Zwipe Exec is FPC’s New CMO
Tony Heavens, a former Zwipe executive, is now Fingerprint Cards’ Chief Marketing Officer. Heavens had served as Zwipe’s SVP of Marketing and Communications since September of last year. His CV also includes senior marketing roles with Nets Group and Aker BioMarine, a fishing and biotech company. “I see great opportunity to capitalize on existing brand awareness in what is a competitive sector,” Heavens commented in a statement announcing his appointment, adding that he would work with the Fingerprints team “to implement a global marketing strategy to drive business growth and revenue.”
Persona, Paravision Launch Joint Age Assurance Solution
Persona and Paravision have teamed up on an “age estimation and verification” tool, after the latter launched the 6th-generation version of its face biometrics platform this past summer. In announcing their joint solution, the companies pointed to a growing regulatory need for digital age assurance technologies, thanks to the passage of laws like the United Kingdom’s Online Safety Act. Their solution is designed to estimate an end user’s age based on a selfie image, while also leveraging Persona’s “granular data retention and redaction policies” in order to protect end users’ privacy.
Shufti Pro Speeds Up Face Authentication System
Shufti Pro has announced an enhancement to its flagship face biometrics system, which can now perform authentication in five seconds, compared to a previous transaction time of 30 seconds. Elaborating on the upgrade, CEO Victor Fredung said it also offers “clone detection of up to 97 percent,” making Shufti Pro “one of the most trusted and powerful IDV providers.” The development comes after Shufti Pro announced in September that it had added Machine Learning-driven “depth sensing technology” to its facial recognition platform.
New AI System Can Animate Your Photo to Someone Else’s Voice
Researchers at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have developed an AI system that can create a deepfake of a person speaking recorded audio based on a single photo of the individual. The audio could be a recording of someone else—a video published by the team showed its lead researcher’s face animated to the speech of Barack Obama. The researchers trained their “Diverse Yet Realistic Facial Animations” system on over a million audiovisual clips depicting more than 6,000 individuals, and envision applications such as virtual assistants in healthcare.
November 17, 2023 – by Alex Perala